Kodukant, the Estonian Village Movement is an association of non-governmental organisations, structured at three levels – village, county and national. It started in 1990-ies, when Estonia’s rural areas began to suffer severely following the country’s independence. Rural enthusiasts made contact with “All Sweden Shall Live” and learnt how to mobilise the rural population. Kodukant was set up officially in October 1997. It now has 19 member organisations and a network of more than 600 villages. It embodies the spirit and values of the villages and is driven by a passion to retain rural life and traditions.
As an advocacy organisation Kodukant has cooperation with all main rural development organisations in Estonia as well as four ministries – Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Rural Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Social Affairs.
According to Village Movement Strategy Kodukant has four priority areas of work:
- Advocacy on national level
- Promoting rural lifestyle
- Cooperation and involvement
- Community services and entrepreneurship
Village movement organises surveys, initiates public discussions and projects on above themes. In 2020/2021 our most significant development project is Programme for seamless rural society financed by ACF Fund operated in Estonia by Open Estonia Foundation in cooperation with Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations.
The most significant events organised by Kodukant include Maapäev or Rural Parliament, at which delegates from throughout the country gather to debate issues and prepare declaration to the government. Also, every second year we emphasise the values of rural life through competition to the title “Village of the Year”.
Since 2013 Kodukant has been a strategic partner to the Ministry of the Interior in developing volunteering in Estonia. We mostly cooperate and share our volunteering work with Estonian Volunteer Network, which involves 37 organizations.
The tasks of the voluntary activities of the Village Movement Kodukant are:
- Promotion of volunteering;
- Provision of training and consultancy;
- Dissemination of information about volunteering, evolving the greatest portal of volunteers’ activities Volunteers’ Gate (http://vabatahtlikud.ee/) and every other week a volunteers’ e-newsletter is published.
As of 2015 Kodukant is a member of the European Volunteer Center.
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